Sunday, May 18, 2014

10:48 PM on a Sunday night

10:48 PM on a Sunday night, and there's screaming.

I trot to my 3-year-old son's room, the source of the conflagration. I'm ready to douse the situation, to take care of this, to handle it. I'm DADDY. Little do I know that I'm the one who'll be getting doused.

There he sits, tears flowing, his wails echoing into the night like a siren. I pick him up, hug him close. "What's wrong?" sing-song voice, soft, high-pitched. "Daddy's gotcha. Daddy's gotcha. I love you."

My t-shirt feels warm. It's a familiar warmth. Wet. Comforting. Unless, of course, all that wet warmness came out of someone else's body.

In these moments I know how fortunate I am. I get to be this person's father. I get to be there for his crises, be they big or small. I get the privilege of loving and raising and caring for this person. I am allowed to love this person, to help him learn to clean his own wounds, to brush his teeth, to have good manners. I can help start him down the road to finding out who he is, and when the time comes, I can get out of his way and watch.

I dry him up and help him into new pajamas. He's still a little sad. I hold him. He wants to go down in my bed. I oblige.

Twenty minutes later I hear a few little noises. This time it's from big Sis's room. She's gotta go too. She needs me to carry her.

I've never felt better.